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April 15 Assault Weapon Registration Deadline Approaches, Strong Resistance Remains


After New York passed strict gun control laws last January, sales of assault-style weapons became illegal. But for those who already owned guns with features like a pistol grip and removable magazine, they must register them by Tuesday.

Many Second Amendment advocates see the requirement as a step toward the government seizing their guns.

Chief Deputy John Balloni with the Onondaga County sheriff’s office says the law could make criminals out of people who ignore the law in protest.

"We’re actually creating a category of criminal from of a group of people, a great majority of whom, never would of broken the law."

Balloni says regardless of feelings on the law, law enforcement agencies have to enforce it. He says they won’t be going out and looking for unregistered guns.

Credit Karen DeWitt/WXXI

With assault weapons – and their sale – outlawed, Balloni says a black market in unregistered guns could arise.

The assault weapons ownership list will be exempt from Freedom of Information requests. Under the SAFE Act, the state police also do not have to disclose any information about how many guns have been registered. The agency has declined to comment on the program.